The Congos

The Congos

BandWorld

The real roots reggae band from the 70's reunited in 2006. Their song "Fisherman row" is considered as one of the 10 best reggae song ever released and their album produced by the great Lee Scratch Perry "Heart of the Congos" one of the best reggae album

Biography

A duo comprised of Cedric Myton and Roydel "Ashanti" Johnson, the Congos are primarily known for one record, Heart of the Congos, released in 1977. Reggae historian Steve Barrow, one of the people behind the exquisite reissue of this long-thought-lost record, considers it as good as seminal reggae recordings such as Bob Marley and the Wailers' Natty Dread, Burning Spear's Marcus Garvey, and the Mighty Diamonds' Right Time. This is not an exaggeration.
Myton and Johnson joined by « Watty » Burnett, working with Lee Perry at his Black Ark Studios in Kingston created a masterpiece, one of (if not the) finest production job of Perry's long and prolific career. Cedric Myton grew up in St. Catherine, Jamaica and began his singing career as a member of the Tartans in the late '60s. Singing in a tuneful rocksteady style, the Tartans scored hits with songs like "Dance All Night" and "Far Beyond the Sun," the latter recorded for Duke Reid's Treasure Isle label. Roy Johnson, a native of Hanover, Jamaica, grew up singing spirituals at home and cut his teeth as a member of Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus. More importantly, Johnson attended school with Lee Perry, the start of a relationship that would lead to Perry working with him and Myton years later. A chance meeting led to Myton and Johnson working under the name the Congos and hooking up with such major musical talents as Sly Dunbar, Ernest Ranglin, and "Sticky" Thompson. And while the music that backed the Congos was undeniably great, their most distinctive feature was their vocals: Johnson's strong, clear tenor and Myton's breathtaking falsetto, which sounded a bit, like that of the great Russell Tompkins of the Stylistics.
What Lee Perry brought to this mix was his usual anarchic presence, but also his technique of using primitive (even for its time) four-track recording technology that emphasized a cluttered, dense, but hot live sound. With Perry at the controls, the Congos had a man uniquely qualified to capture the roots vibe they wanted to record, perhaps the only producer in Jamaica capable of doing so. Great as it was, Heart of the Congos sold only reasonably well in Jamaica, and became a hotly sought-after collectible in America and Britain by a cult of reggae aficionados. The original release dropped out of sight, and crappy reissues were all that was available until very recently. Not long after the record was released, Myton and Johnson went their separate ways but continued to use the name the Congos or Congo as a means of identification. Myton continued to record with other singers as the Congos, and Johnson now identifies himself as Congo Ashanti Roy, working as a solo act and as a member of some of Adrian Sherwood's experimental dub/funk aggregations. As solo artists, they've never again captured the magic of Heart of the Congos, but 25 years after, The Congos are back together with a brand new album which could be its deserving successor: “Swinging Bridge”.
We can find the same spiritual message sang by the original band with magic tracks such as “Black Market Baby” “Lost Sheep” or “Revolution”.
After their come back on stage this summer in the biggest Festivals (such as Summerjam, Uppsala, Dour, Jahsound and many others) they are coming back on tour throughout Europe in October in order to spread their message.

Lyrics

REVOLUTION

Written By: C.MYTON / R.JOHNSON

REVOLUTION

(Wo nah nah nah yeah)
Revolution, Revolution
Revolution, now the time has come
Revolution (yeah) fighting for a cause (bis)
We come to break down pression (yeah)
To set the captives free now
Justice crying out for peace, oh Lord !
So the wicked a fi cease yeah
Tribal war can’t solve the problem
Justice is the only solution now (bis)
The rich man and his wealth (oh yeah)
Will be throwing into hell
When he think it’s peace and safety
Sudden destruction (I say nah)
So you can tell it to the generation
Without justice: war and destruction
I say now, Revolution, oh Lord
I pray, oh everyday now I say (oh yeah)
We got the spirit, we got the vibes
We got the music to keep us alive
Tribal war can’t solve the problem
Justice is the only solution (yeah nah)
Revolution (yeah) the time has come
Revolution now, fighting for a cause
Revolution (yeah) the time has come
Revolution (yeah) fighting for a cause (oh yeah)
Revolution, Revolution
Fighting for a cause (repeat).

SPIRITUAL ORGANISATION

Written By: C.MYTON / R.JOHNSON


SPIRITUAL ORGANISATION

(Oh nahee oh nahee oh nahee hoo)

It’s a corporate organisation, and it’s running the world today
It’s a corporate organisation, it’s the man behind the mask (nah)
With computer as their tutor, dominating the world today
As technology gets greater, the nation getting deeper and deeper
(Oh nah nah nah nah ho yeah)
Modern technology bring us the history
Create the fantasy that causes misery for mankind (yeah nah)
It’s a spiritual organisation holding the people together (nah oh yeah)
It’s a spiritual meditation controling the people’s mind (yeah oh nah)
I’ve seen the Christian reform, Christian reform (nah nah nah yeah)
I’ve seen the Rastas been born
Rastas been born (oh oh yeah)
I’ve seen the Bobos been scorn, Bobos been scorn (nah oh yeah)
Now him carry him name gone abroad. (nah nah nah. Ho do do hoo)
It’s a secret organisation fighting human rights (nah oh yes)
It’s a secret organisation
Fighting equal rights (nah), oh yes.
I’ve seen the Christian reform, Christian reform
(Nah nah nah) I’ve seen the Rastas been born
Rastas been born now
I’ve seen the Rastas been scorn now (nah)
Him carry him name gone abroad (yeah yeah yeah now whoo yeah)
Modern technology bring us the history
Create the fantasy that causes misery for mankind (yeah ho yeah)
It’s a corporate organisation and it’s running the world today (repeat).

LOST SHEEP

Written By: C.MYTON

LOST SHEEP (SINKING SAND)

Who knows (doo doo doo) who knows (ho ho ho ho)
As I trod across the foreign land, by the rivers of the sinking sand
On my mission Jah works is planned
I and I bredren got work to be done
Searching for the lost sheep, not even sleep they sleep (no no)
Searching for the lost sheep, only weep they weep (yeah)
Son of man, of thy own heart, let’s come together in one accord
We should all sing the same song, hear me now (nah nah)
We should all talk the same talk, hear me now
We should all walk the same walk, hear me now
You better remember where you’re coming from
Are where you gonna go now
Now hear me now Lord
You better remember time to leave from Babylon
Now it’s time to go back home (yeah)
For the fire, fire, fire will be burning
And the hotta hotta laver will be flowing
And the Gideon the Gideon a raging
And the hotta hotta hotta fire will be burning
Babylon get caught in a rat trap (oh yeah)
I’m telling, that sly old fox (yeah)
Acting like a clown, playing fool to catch the wise
You better be careful of him (yeah)
Oh Lord, for the hotta hotta the fire, fire, fire will be burning
And the hotta, hotta, hotta laver will be flowing
And the Gideon, the Gideon a raging
And the hotta, hotta, fire, fire will be burning now (repeat).

CONCRETE ZONE

Written By: W.BURNETT


CONCRETE ZONE

(La de da de de da de da la da da da da la da da da da la da)

I need time to get away before the rising sun, no one to call my friend
When the day is done, early to bed early to rise walking this lonely street
Shoes are worn my clothes in drags I won’t turn my other cheek (nah la la la la)
I did the best I could, I could not please everyone, life means so much to me
Even the blind man could see, gonna get away from the hassling crowd
Get away get away gonna get away gonna get away from the screaming target
Gonna get away gonna get away gonna get away
Somehow there must be a change
This kind of living is strange gonna get myself out of here
I am tired of living in fear (oh yeah)
My people now listen to the sound that goes around
Oh yes my people listen to the words I have to say
Somehow there must be a change, this kind of living is strange
Gonna get myself out of here I am tired of living in fear (oh yeah nah)
Time to get away before the rising sun
No one to call a friend when the day is done
Early to bed early to rise
Walking this lonely street
Somehow there must be a change
This kind of living is strange
Gonna get myself out of here
I am tired of living in fear
Got to get away before the rising of the sun
I’ve got to get away from the hassling crowd
I’ve got to get away from the twilight zone
Got to get away, get away got to get away home (repeat).

SWINGING BRIDGE

Written By: C.MYTON / R.JOHNSON

SWINGING BRIDGE

(Nah nah nah nah wow yeah wow hoo hoo)
The Swinging bridge
You know it’s a rock and roll
Upon the ridge, you got to take control (bis)
Take control
Before you loose your gold, take control
Before you loose your soul (oh yeah nah)
Life is a very very serious thing
Sometime you loose, sometime you win
Don’t throw away your stick
Before you cross the river
(Ha ha ha ho ho ho ho ho)
Don’t burn the bridge even when you cross over
(Ha ha ha oh oh oh oh oh)
Sometime you’ve got to spin your roll (yeah)
Before your sudden luck unfold (nah)
Sometime you’ve got to pray a little harder
So you can tell it to the father
Sometime you’ve got to work a little harder
So you can take it to the border (nah)
The longest live see the most (nah)
Even living from pillow to post (nah)
So don’t you take no overdose (yeah)
Or even take it for a joke (nah hey)
The swinging bridge you’re gonna rock and roll
Upon the ridge you got to take control (bis)
Take control before you loose your gold
Take control before you loose your soul (repeat).

Discography

HEART OF THE CONGOS – 1977
CONGOS ASHANTI – 1979
NATTY DREAD RISE AGAIN – 1997
SWINGING BRIDGE – 2006
FISHERMAN STYLE (COMPILATION) – 2006

Set List

Congoman
Revolution
Spiritual Organisation
Lost Sheep
Open up the Gate
Children Crying
La Bam Bam
Can't Come In
Swinging Bridge
National Heroes
Ten Million Chariots
Black Market Babies
Teacher’s Teach
Fraud System
La Le Bella
Questions
Hills & Valley
Fisherman